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“One of the best African lodges.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mkuze Falls Game Lodge

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Mkuze Falls Game Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   On the R66, 30km South of Pongola | Magudu, Pongola 3170, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“One of the best African lodges.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Lets just start by saying this place is beautiful. I stayed in the safari tents and they were stunning. They are nicely decorated with African decor giving you the feeling you are living in a Hemingway novel. The bathroom had a claw foot tub and a glass shower, so you felt as if you were outside. The tented rooms are a great choice and very comfy. I also seen the bungalows located at the falls area simply stunning very beautiful and lavishly decorated as well with great views of wildlife drinking at the falls. As far as game you will not be disappointed. I have been to Africa four times and Mkuze has it all. You very could easily see the big five in one day. Never have I seen so many Cheetah in one place in Africa it was unbelievable. The game drives were just as you would expect very good game sightings every time we went out. Waking up at 5am can be a challenge but, well worth the effort. Having a drink at sunset while on a game drive is something you will never forget its as if you are dreaming while awake. The rates can be a little pricey but, you can't put a price on a memory like this. When I visit SA I will be going here again. The drive to Pongola form JNB is far but, if you are visiting the Natal then it is on the way and lots in between to see. You will not be let down if you plan to visit everything from food to rooms and game drives the staff can not be beat you will very happy you chose this place for your holiday.

Room Tip: If you visit St. Lucia you can make it here in a few hours drive. Visiting St.Lucia is well worth th...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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37 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
King's Lynn, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

We have stayed at many game lodges but this is up there with the best. Accomodation is in individual huts with an outdoor shower and a view over a water hole. The food is superb and the service is five start with great little touches like being met from a game drive with a hot towel and glass of sherry. Game is plentiful and we saw the Big Five plus cheetah, giraffe and many antelope.The lion sightings, thanks to Sipho and Norman, were particularly impressive. The reserve is huge and offers an array of terrain with plentiful lakes. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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UAE
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

Outstanding customer care from everyone, really remarkable! Had an amazing stay, saw lots of game thanks to Sipho and Elliott. They tracked the lions for 2 hours - whilst the 2 lions were playing cat and mouse with us - till eventually the lions became tired of their little game! Elliot is an amazing tracker and it was our first visit to a game reserve where we managed to see the "Big Five" in one visit! The cook is amazing and we were treated with snacks and meals non -stop! The game drives with the sundowners was obviously a treat and we enjoyed the "down-time" chatting with Sipho and Elliott. The view from the rooms are breathtaking and as we visited during the winter months, the warm blankets and heating in the room were most welcome. A hot bath is awaiting you when returning from the late afternoon drive...what more could you wish for! An absolute treat and highly recommended game reserve!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

The lodge consists of 9 rooms accommodating 18. A large balcony overlooks Mkuze Falls in the private game reserves. Plenty of sightings of cheetah and lions. They offer the standard morning and evening game safaris, catch and release fishing trips, boat rides, sundowners and most importantly walk safaris.

The rooms are well spaced out with enough privacy. The chalets overlook the Mkuze Falls, with a large deck circling toward its back which presents a wonderful private jacuzzi and an outdoor rain shower. The bath itself consists of a tub and the other regular features.

A well stocked minibar adorns the study area and the bedroom has a large king bed .

All rooms are the same except room 8 which has a large seating area, twin beds convertable to double and pantry with a four seater dining table.

They have separate bar ,lounge and dining areas along with outdoor seating. A reasonable size swimming pool and a spa.

Being a private game reserve many optional activities are possible including walking safaris which I did right upto about 30 feet away from two large male lions.

Their proximity to the river as well as several dams gives an opportunity to see game without driving too far from the lodge.

I would definitely go back with my family and friends. It's actually ideal for all sorts of travellers including elderly and disabled as there are ramps to reach all the areas.

I had an absolutely lovely and memorable time thanks to the hosts NJ and Mettie Van der Merwe

Service was absolutely on the ball with ever smiling and polite staff. Wonderful!

Room Tip: Room 5 closest to the reception and good view. For families and honeymooners room 8
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

The rangers took us into encounters with the wild that we had never experienced. In amongst lion as they lay around, touched on the head by elephant trunk. We really had an extraordinary experience here. The chalets and service were tops. This is our second visit. It will not be out=r last.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington, d.c.
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2012

Everything about this lodge is top notch. The service is also really worth noting. Every detail was absolute perfection, from the lodge itself, our villa, the game drives....
This place takes real effort to get to, you wonder why on earth you are driiving so far to get there but once you are at Mkuze, you will be so thankful you made the effort. First you will see every animal you want to see in the wild in Africa. Second the premises are just beautiful, our breath was taken away when we were given the first tour of the villas and the property. I loved the outdoor private shower!! The food was very good and the service was wonderful. There are so many magical details to Mkuze that I don't want to share for new patrons to experience the same serendipity we did. All can say is I got tears in my eyes as we drove away. You know you were someplace special when you feel a lump in your throat the morning you have to check out and leave.

Room Tip: stay in the lodge not then tented areas if possible
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Louisiana
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

Every now and then you come across one of those very special places that almost belong in a category by themselves…..Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve in Zululand is one of those. Previously I had visited wonderful private camps by Kruger National Park, and while many of the animals at Mkuze have been imported from other parts of Africa - all of the Big Five live here now - it’s a treasure in every way.
And it was much less expensive than the more famous places around Kruger, but the quality was as topnotch as the world-renowned safari camps featured in the big travel magazines.
The nine lodge rooms really are separate units with thatched roofs, simulated elephant tusk headboards on beds with mosquito netting (not that we needed it), air conditioning that worked well, and a porch overlooking a river and waterfall. There's a large bathtub in the bathroom, but in daytime (when night lights don't attract bugs), be sure to shower outside, where you can see the river, but no one can see you!
The staff was wonderful, especially the wait staff which served dinner each of our three nights in different locations, twice outdoors by candlelight. Food was excellent, creamy soups, a choice of fish, game or chicken/beef, vegetarian. The staff seems to care so much.
There’s a beautiful swimming pool, and an excellent massage therapist available.
Of course, the 4:30 a.m. wake-up call you get at virtually every game camp, is early, but that and early evening are prime animal viewing times. There were two three-hour game drives included in the rates, one at 5 a.m., and one at 4:30 p.m.
Our final morning – we spent three nights – we slept in, joining the others outdoors for the buffet and cooked breakfast.
I can’t say enough about Mkuze, which is in Zululand, north of Richards Bay, where we flew and rented a car for the two-hour drive (Durban is maybe another hour south).
I asked to see the tented camp, which is less expensive, but was not open during our visit. It’s about a 10 minute drive away, more informal/casual, but also appealing….Guests eat similar menus, I’m told, but also gather by an outdoor bar and smaller pool. I would think younger travelers might really enjoy this. These permanent, luxurious “tents" zip up, but also are air conditioned and have a screen for those who want to keep breezes coming in.
We shared game drives with German honeymooners, who let us see their suite, which had a full living room, Oriental carpets, a wrap-around deck, and a TV – spectacular. It also has private wireless internet service, which also is available in the lodge’s main lounge, where snacks are served, and where sink-in sofas and many books make settling in there tempting.

Room Tip: If you can afford a splurge, do book the big suite - it's as large as our condo. But truly, our...
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mkuze Falls Game Lodge

Address: On the R66, 30km South of Pongola | Magudu, Pongola 3170, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Pongola
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Pongola
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mkuze Falls Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
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